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News Briefs: August 3, 2020

The HHS Office of Inspector General (OIG) has given the green light to a plan by a charitable organization to “purchase or receive donations of unpaid medical debt owed by qualifying patients from certain types of health care providers and then forgive that debt,” according to advisory opinion 20-04.[1]

CMS and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said[2] July 30 that payment is available to physicians and other providers to counsel patients “at the time of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) testing, about the importance of self-isolation after they are tested and prior to the onset of symptoms.…CMS will use existing evaluation and management (E/M) payment codes to reimburse providers who are eligible to bill CMS for counseling services no matter where a test is administered, including doctor’s offices, urgent care clinics, hospitals and community drive-thru or pharmacy testing sites.”

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